Announcing Superflux’s ambitious new initiative: CASCADE INQUIRY
We are very excited to announce the launch of CASCADE INQUIRY: our ambitious initiative of experiential projects that imagine future worlds where positive climate action has been taken.
Exploring hopeful climate futures
For several years now, we have been exploring and foregrounding the complexity of the climate crisis through experiential, more-than-human, speculative projects and practices. Given the urgency of the situation we now find ourselves in, we are keen to not only deepen our understanding of the knotty complexity of this planetary polycrisis, but more importantly, really get to grips with how to influence and action change—collectively, plurally, ecologically…
We are undoubtedly in a state of crisis and growing instability; the climate crisis and cascading risks associated with it are furthering inequality and polarisation. Transformative action has not yet been implemented multilaterally, and numerous parties continue to lack the ambition to implement change on the scale that is required. So how do we move beyond political deadlock? How do we turn our collective focus toward systemic change, transformational futures and action? How can we go beyond the status quo to imagine alternatives?
Those questions led us to more questions, and we distilled our frustrations and motivations into a few fundamentals:
Where is power located?
Who can access it?
How can we act on that power?
What change can we create?
With such questions brewing in our studio, we were delighted to be invited by King’s Culture, King’s College London, to hold a climate futures research residency in their Inigo Rooms from July 2022 onward.
Titled Activation, we created an experiential space in which to think, ask, read, map, plot, arrange, rearrange in order to begin to nurture interconnected, systemic, plural visions of climate positive futures.
Probing a vast set of questions, our inquiry led us into conversations with climate experts across numerous disciplines. We spoke with researchers and professors at King’s: Kris DeMeyer, Helen Adams, Mark Pelling, Duraid Jalili, Megan Bowman, Maud Borie, Suzanne Hall, Mark Mulligan, Rowan Gard, Adriana Ford, and Frans Berkhout, as well as domain experts in policy, urban risk, marine biology, philosophy, sociology and deep listening: Tia Harrop, Anne Watson, Stephen Bennett, Elisa Sevilla, Karina Barragan, Shona Koren, Sarah Fine, Karen O’Brien and Emily Kasriel.
The conversations unearthed productive overlaps, echoes and connections, including a reassuring (and unanimous) call for ambitious and embodied modes of knowledge production and sharing. But our conversations also exposed gaps—and these gaps are ripe with potential. We began to see our residency—and our practice as a whole—as something that could bridge those gaps. Whats more, we saw it as something scalable that could expand to populate further liminal spaces.
Our foundational work has located sites of power that have the potential to enact positive change in the face of crisis. This is only just scratching the surface. Over the years we envision CASCADE INQUIRY will become an ever expanding connective network, comprising multiple, diverse activations, experiential projects, community engagements, scholarship and more. We will apply our artistic and speculative practices to seed and nurture collective imagination, creating experiential spaces that imagine future worlds where positive climate action has been taken. The work that needs to be done is complex, contradictory, collaborative. It’s hard work for sure, but it’s absolutely necessary.
Right now the project is in its infancy and we are still digesting the wealth of rich theory, data, practices, insights that emerged from our residency. To stay updated with how the project develops be sure to visit our solar powered website where we’ll share developments and forthcoming events. In fact, there is one event coming up very soon that you are all invited to join…
To celebrate the public launch of CASCADE INQUIRY, please join us from 6pm on February 8th for a generative discussion held at The Exchange, King’s College London.
The evening will be an opportunity for us to share our internal research and the initiative’s future ambitions. There will follow a generative discussion to advance opportunities for positive collective action.
We are delighted to share a line up of experts from the social sciences, public policy and speculative design including:
• Emily Kasriel (Chair), Head of special projects at the BBC World Service and Deep Listening pioneer.
• Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate at King’s College London.
• Suzanne Hall, Director of Engagement at the Policy Institute, King’s College London.
• Mark Pelling, Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction; Research Impact Lead; Programme Leader – MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London
• Anab Jain, Co-founder and Director of Superflux; Professor of Design Investigations at the dieAngewandte, University of Applied Arts, Vienna
Eschewing a traditional panel format, we encourage audience participation and collective inquiry. This open conversation will surface questions, insights and possibilities for us to develop our Inquiry further.
You can register attendance (for free) here.
A note on how to support our project
We are seeking funding for the continued development of our project. Financial support will enable us to foster sustained dialogues with plural communities and empower collective imagining. If you are an investor, community lead, cultural foundation interested in supporting transformative climate action work then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org